Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Considering a Fair Penalty For Illegal File-sharing 728

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt, following up on yesterday's announcement of the 1.5 million dollar verdict against Jammie Thomas: "This week a federal jury handed down the verdict in the third file-sharing trial against a Minnesota mother of four who has been fighting against the charges brought by the RIAA since 2005. Understandably, a lot of people are outraged by this verdict and while reading through comments about the fine on some online forums, I saw some interesting opinions on how these fines should be assessed. The point that $62,500 per song is excessively high seems to be something that everyone can agree on, but what actually is fair seems to be a big point of contention."

US Blocking Costa Rican Sugar Trade To Force IP Laws 441

For the last couple of days news has been trickling in about how the US is trying to ram IP laws down Costa Rica's throat by blocking their access to the US sugar market. Techdirt has a good summary of the various commentaries and a related scoop in the Bahamas where the US is also applying IP pressure. "The first is in Costa Rica, which is included in the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Yet like with other free trade agreements that the US has agreed to elsewhere, this one includes draconian intellectual property law requirements. I still cannot understand why intellectual monopoly protectionism — the exact opposite of 'free trade' — gets included in free trade agreements. At least in Costa Rica, a lot of people started protesting these rules, pointing out that it would be harmful for the economy, for education and for healthcare. So the Costa Rican government has not moved forward with such laws. How has the US responded? It's blocking access to the US market of Costa Rican sugar until Costa Rica approves new copyright laws."

Columnist Fired For Reviewing Pirated Movie 466

Hugh Pickens writes "Roger Friedman, an entertainment columnist for, discovered over the weekend just what Rupert Murdoch means by 'zero tolerance' when it comes to movie piracy. On Friday, the film studio 20th Century Fox — owned by the News Corporation, the media conglomerate ruled by Mr. Murdoch — became angry after reading Friedman's latest column, a review of 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine,' a big-budget movie that was leaked in unfinished form on the Web last week. Friedman posted a mini-review, adding, 'It took really less than seconds to start playing it all right onto my computer.' The film studio, which enlisted the FBI to hunt the pirate, put out a statement calling Friedman's column 'reprehensible' while News Corporation weighed in with its own statement, saying it had asked Fox News to remove the column from its Web site. 'When we advised Fox News of the facts,' the statement said, 'they promptly terminated Mr. Friedman.'"
The Courts

RIAA Litigation May Be Unconstitutional 281

dtjohnson writes "A Harvard law school professor has submitted arguments on behalf of Joel Tenenbaum in RIAA v. Tenenbaum in which Professor Charles Nesson claims that the underlying law that the RIAA uses is actually a criminal, rather than civil, statute and is therefore unconstitutional. According to this article, 'Nesson charges that the federal law is essentially a criminal statute in that it seeks to punish violators with minimum statutory penalties far in excess of actual damages. The market value of a song is 99 cents on iTunes; of seven songs, $6.93. Yet the statutory damages are a minimum of $750 per song, escalating to as much as $150,000 per song for infringement "committed willfully."' If the law is a criminal statute, Neeson then claims that it violates the 5th and 8th amendments and is therefore unconstitutional. Litigation will take a while but this may be the end for RIAA litigation, at least until they can persuade Congress to pass a new law."
The Courts

RIAA Pays Tanya Andersen $107,951 312

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Well, Phase I of the RIAA's misguided pursuit of an innocent, disabled Oregon woman, Atlantic v. Andersen, has finally drawn to a close, as the RIAA was forced to pay Ms. Andersen $107,951, representing the amount of her attorneys fee judgment plus interest. But as some have pointed out, reimbursement for legal fees doesn't compensate Ms. Andersen for the other damages she's sustained. And that's where Phase II comes in, Andersen v. Atlantic. There the shoe is on the other foot, and Tanya is one doing the hunting, as she pursues the record companies and their running dogs for malicious prosecution. Should be interesting."
The Courts

Tufts Tells Judge, We Can't Tie IP To MAC Addresses 419

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Protesting that Tufts University's DHCP-based systems 'were not designed to facilitate forensic examinations,' but rather to ensure 'smooth operations and to manage capacity issues,' the IT Office at Tufts University has responded to the subpoena in an RIAA case, Zomba v. Does 1-11, by submitting a report to the judge (PDF) explaining why it cannot cross-match IP addresses and MAC addresses, or identify users accurately. The IT office explained that the system identifies machines, not users; that some MAC addresses have multiple users; that only the Address Resolution Protocol system has even the potential to match IP addresses with MAC addresses, but that system could not do so accurately. For reasons which are unclear, the IT department then suggested that the RIAA next time send them 'notices to preserve information,' in response to which they would preserve, rather than overwrite, the DHCP data, for the RIAA's forensic benefit."

MPAA Scores First P2P Jury Conviction 335

An anonymous reader writes "The MPAA must be celebrating. According to the BitTorrent news site, the Department of Justice is proclaiming their first P2P criminal copyright conviction, against an Elite Torrents administrator. The press release notes, 'The jury was presented with evidence that Dove was an administrator of a small group of Elite Torrents members known as "Uploaders," who were responsible for supplying pirated content to the group. At sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2008, Dove faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.'"

God is real, unless declared integer.